FF Plus will campaign for new legislation that will protect whistle-blowers

2015-01-29
Adv Anton Alberts

The FF Plus will campaign for legislation that will protect whistle-blowers better following shocking information released by the Institute for Internal Auditors (IIA) on Wednesday regarding the extent of corruption and the victimisation of whistle-blowers, Adv. Anton Alberts, the FF Plus’ parliamentary spokesperson on the Economy, says.

According to reports on Fin24, the IIA released findings during the launch of the Anti-Intimidation and Ethical Practices Forum which pointed to the fact that corruption had cost the country approximately R700 billion over the past twenty years.

To make matters worse, it appears that whistle-blowers are increasingly being intimidated and prevented from coming out with information on irregularities. The objective of the forum is to advise its members about the reporting of corruption and what actions to take in instances of intimidation.

Adv. Alberts says the extent of the figures is shocking and the reality is that the true amount is probably considerably higher as people are too scared to reveal information they have.

He says the whistle-blowers’ act (Public Disclosures Act) is inadequate as whistle-blowers often have to report cases to their own authority structures, about their own authority structures which are supposed to protect them.

“There is no offense or real sanction in the legislation to hold authority structures accountable that do not protect whistle-blowers. Existing legislation is nothing other that lip-service to an idea for creating a safe environment for whistle-blowers. It has does not have any substance.

“The act has to be amended to hold those, who are supposed to protect whistle-blowers, criminally and financially accountable, should intimidation actions continue. Until then, whistle-blowers will be at the mercy of wolves in sheep’s clothing.

“It is clear that the ANC government does not want to do anything about corruption, apart from paying lip-service to it and that is why the FF Plus will see how the legislation can be amended by a Private Member’s Bill,” Adv. Alberts says.

 

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